The independent review of the Australian Public Service has moved to address concerns with an impressively qualified ‘sounding board’ that brings in ministerial and state expertise. It has also extended the deadline for submissions.
David Thodey, the chair of the review panel, told The Mandarin they wanted contributions from all walks of Australians life, and took out advertising in national press to encourage it.
That appears to have paid off, with diverse backgrounds and perspectives among the first submissions published — albeit with some notable gaps from some high needs stakeholder groups.
The Mandarin has also seen contributions of significant heft from high-profile former senior officials that are still being processed for publication. Others yet to make their submission were concerned the original deadline did not leave enough time to gather the evidence for a well-supported proposal.
The review panel has announced a two-week extension for these contributions. Submissions will now be accepted up until midnight on July 31.
International, ministerial and state expertise brought in
The review panel has created a reference group, to support the six-member review panel, that includes the cream of international expertise in running governments.
It includes three of the most eminent former public officials from the Commonwealth of Nations, plus a current state services commissioner, several former cabinet ministers, a state premier and a prime minister.
- Lord Gus O’Donnell, former Cabinet Secretary for the UK
- Her Excellency Janice Charette, former secretary to the Cabinet in Canada
- Mr Peter Ong Boon Kwee, former head of the civil service in Singapore
- Mr Peter Hughes, New Zealand State Services Commissioner
- Sir Bill English, former Prime Minister of New Zealand
- Dr David Morgan AO, former deputy secretary in the Australian Treasury
- Mr Mike Baird, former Premier of the state of NSW
- The Hon Stephen Smith, former Federal Government Cabinet Minister
- The Hon Helen Coonan, former Federal Government Cabinet Minister
The review panel has not clarified how much time this group will be able to offer.